Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2019 Feb;17(1):52-63. doi: 10.1016/j.gpb.2018.12.004. Epub 2019 Apr 25.


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly used to lessen symptoms in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, the effects of PPI therapy on the gastrointestinal microbiota in GERD patients remain unclear. We examined the association between the PPI usage and the microbiota present in gastric mucosal and fecal samples from GERD patients and healthy controls (HCs) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. GERD patients taking PPIs were further divided into short-term and long-term PPI user groups. We showed that PPI administration lowered the relative bacterial diversity of the gastric microbiota in GERD patients. Compared to the non-PPI-user and HC groups, higher abundances of Planococcaceae, Oxalobacteraceae, and Sphingomonadaceae were found in the gastric microbiota from the PPI-user group. In addition, the Methylophilus genus was more highly abundant in the long-term PPI user group than in the short-term PPI-user group. Despite the absence of differences in alpha diversity, there were significant differences in the fecal bacterial composition of between GERD patients taking PPIs and those not taking PPIs. There was a higher abundance of Streptococcaceae, Veillonellaceae, Acidaminococcaceae, Micrococcaceae, and Flavobacteriaceae present in the fecal microbiota from the PPI-user group than those from the non-PPI-user and HC groups. Additionally, a significantly higher abundance of Ruminococcus was found in GERD patients on long-term PPI medication than that on short-term PPI medication. Our study indicates that PPI administration in patients with GERD has a significant effect on the abundance and structure of the gastric mucosal microbiota but only on the composition of the fecal microbiota.

Keywords: Fecal; Gastric mucosal; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Microbiota; Proton pump inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbiota
  • Middle Aged
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S